Alex Grieve and Adrian Rossi
Executive creative directors,
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO
There’s a great article doing the rounds on social media at the moment. It’s by John Lasseter – the Hawaiian shirt-wearing Pixar dude. It’s called "Technology and the evolution of storytelling". No doubt you’ve read it. Or are about to read it. Or skim-read it and then quoted it in a meeting to show how clever you are (it’s fine, we all do it).
Basically, he states that technology is not the story. The story is, well, the story. Technology is just a tool to help us tell better ones. Amen to that.
So here’s an experiment. Let’s use technology to tell the story of this week’s Private View. Let our tool be emojis.
Lloyds Bank "horse story".
Old Mout Cider "the Kiwi taste for adventure".
Laundrapp "success is well laundered".
Carling "shirt amnesty".
Pampers "poo face".
Founder and executive creative director,
Thanks for asking me to look at some ads. After a week shaping and selling new digital services, it’s nice to watch a nice film or two and ponder on their relative positions on the awesome scale.
The first work under contemplation involves two things I have recent experience with: babies and poo. Pampers "poo face" continues a trend in talking to parents in a way that shows we "really get their world" because we’ve stopped showing them clean, aspirational reflections of ideals, opting instead for a mirror of a much more real reality.
I guess a few baby brands may have strolled uncomfortably past the icky subject of baby mess. So well done, Pampers, for taking poo head-on – or face-on, I should say. People get over any squeamishness when they’re a day into their new roles as parents and these are our audience, after all – so who cares about everyone else getting noxious? And anyone with a young kid needs to spot poo face pretty quickly, unless they’re happy leaving their child sitting in their own mud for days on end (presumably these aren’t strictly Pampers’ potential customers either).
Oh and, yes, the creative? Should I talk about that? Oh yes. Well, as you’ll see, poo faces are pretty funny. And it’s nicely shot and not too much shit gets in the way.
Second up is Old Mout Cider "the Kiwi taste for adventure". A quirky little animated adventure. Strong identity holds it together with the print, TV and outdoor, and its cutesiness probably meets the friendly eyes of potential cider-drinkers a bit bored and confused by an ever-more populous category.
Lloyds Bank "horse story" is an interesting thing to consider because I find myself completely ambivalent. Love the film, love the craft. It’s big, cinematic, credible and the camera’s eye is allowed to rest on scenes long enough for that warm wind of emotion to lift you up and waft you along with each unfolding epic vignette.
The huge question for me, though, is: are people ready to fall in love with banks? Because if they’re not ready, then this is the wrong film. This film will confirm and reinforce an existing love, like someone you have a soft spot for flipping their guitar out for a seductive serenade; an emotional deal-clincher. The black horse in the film is there in war, is sealing the deal on an intense moment of emotion at a wedding. I must have missed the scene where the horse was mis-selling payment protection to some hapless customer. Maybe we’ll be ready for this film in a couple of years. I hope we are because I’d love to see it again.
Laundrapp takes a steer from Dollar Shave Club’s cheeky-chappy, direct-but-playful approach. I like the sentiment that concludes you can be rubbish at everything while still achieving success if you figure out how to wear nice, freshly laundered shirts. To make this really stick, though, I think it should have been a lot more full-on and ridiculous. If you want to punch through with this kind of thing, you have to push it to extremes.
The Carling "shirt amnesty" is a decent activation idea but I didn’t get the work at all. I know there’s an American Beauty reference in there but wouldn’t this be lost on nearly every target customer? It also makes me feel a bit weird about Jimmy Bullard and, in truth, makes it even less likely I’ll be handing him my shirt. Still, I’m the wrong age and I have zero interest in football, so who am I to judge?